#126: Lisa Hepner | The Human Trial

In June 2022, The Human Trial documentary film was released by writer and director, Lisa Hepner who was given unprecedented access to participants in the sixth ever embryonic stem cell trial in the world. Behind every breakthrough are those who risk everything for everybody else. In this episode we get into the hard hitting details as to what this means, moments of personal reflection, and if the cure really is on the horizon. I truly believe Lisa and her team are bridging the much needed gap between the people living with diabetes and the research teams who are working diligently to be the first to “cure” Type 1 diabetes.

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Tuesday Topic: Putting Stem Cells In My Body?

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Viacyte, a San Diego based regenerative health/drug company, set off ripples of hope and relief in the diabetes community.  We’ve been dreaming of drinking coffee without blood sugar spikes, running an hour without being low for the next hour, and not having to smother my pump’s low battery alarm during meetings.

Here’s a quick review of the announcement—Viacyte is moving forward with an application, to the FDA, to initiate Phase I/II clinical trials in Type 1 diabetes patients.  They’re testing safety and efficacy of an implantable device that secretes insulin through enclosed stem cells, turned to pancreatic beta cells, effectively removing the need for diabetics to take insulin.  Found on Viacyte’s website, here’s their grandiose take on the product’s possibilities:

“In short, ViaCyte’s VC-01 combination product has the potential to transform the way diabetes care is managed. The product could be a virtual cure for type 1 diabetes and an important new therapy for insulin-requiring type 2 diabetes.”

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